- Children, Schools and Families Committee Contents



16 MARCH 2009

  Q20  ANNETTE BROOKE: May I throw another question into the pot, and perhaps people who have not answered the other question can pick it up as well. Given that we have identified some variability that is perhaps not desirable, should there be an appeal against Ofsted's judgments? If so, what form could that take?

  JOHN BANGS: I will pay a compliment to Ofsted actually—I know, it sounds extraordinary. We fought for and achieved the establishment of a hotline. I do not think that it is well used, but it should be. There is an element of psychology at play, and we try to persuade colleagues to understand that it does not go against you if you phone up and complain about an inspection team. I would be interested to know what Dr Dunford thinks about this, but having worked with Ofsted all these years, my hunch is that it tries to operate as neutrally as possible in such a situation. However, to take Martin's point, the matter is so high-stake that what you correlate in terms of those high stakes is that you will be punished if you complain, which is unfortunate. There is also an independent adjudicator who adjudicates whether or not the process has taken place. The mechanisms are there, but the high-stakes nature of the system intimidates head teachers from using them when they should use them more. We always get a result from Ofsted. If we complain, we get a decent and substantive reply. Whether or not we like the reply is another matter, but it is actually explored. To use Martin's point, the high-stakes nature does intimidate individual heads from pursuing the matter as much as they might.

  Q21  CHAIRMAN: In any other field, John—or both Johns—in relation to a question like this you would be saying, "Well, the quality of inspection, the quality of teaching or the quality of most things depends on the quality of the staff and how they are recruited and trained." Are staff recruited and trained well? How you become an inspector is a bit murky, is it not?

  DR DUNFORD: They have improved over the years. There is no question but that a lot of bad inspectors have been weeded out. I have to say that any cases taken up with Ofsted by our union are looked into in detail and we get a good report back. That happened once we got over the point that Mick Brookes made about people saying, "Well, we weren't there, so we can't judge what happened because A says one thing and B says another." We have largely managed to get over that. I come back to the point that I made at the beginning: at the end of the day, if you have an adjudicator, that person should not be employed by Ofsted; they should be independent of Ofsted. That degree of independence is necessary.

  Q22  CHAIRMAN: But Keith, you've been an inspector.

  KEITH BARTLEY: I've been in HMI, yes.

  CHAIRMAN: So, is it training, quality? Is it good enough?

  KEITH BARTLEY: I was reflecting on that question, because there are two elements to it. One is the extent to which inspection teams are trained. I was a registered inspector before I became an HMI, and that was from the very early days of Ofsted.

  CHAIRMAN: I wondered why you were sitting on your own at the end.

  KEITH BARTLEY: I will confess now a degree of culpability, because we were also responsible for some of the very early training materials for inspectors. But no, I differentiate between the two direct experiences that I have; one was of setting up a massive national group of registered and trained inspectors. The demands were such that quality assuring that product after initial and very intensive training was difficult to do. That has been caught up with a bit now, but from my own experience of being at HMI, it was profoundly the most challenging and professionally rewarding experience of my life. For six months, I was taken completely out of anything I knew about in the education system.

  Q23  CHAIRMAN: So, the training. If it is by HMI or by someone hired by an agency—because they are, aren't they?—you're all happy with the quality of inspectors that you get? The quality's all right?

  DR DUNFORD: We would much rather have a system in which HMI was always leading the teams.


  DR DUNFORD: There is a higher proportion of HMI-led teams than there used to be in the early days of Ofsted, but we would rather have a system—because we believe it would be more consistent—whereby all teams were led by HMI.

  MARTIN JOHNSON: I'm sorry to be sordid, but you grilled Ofsted recently about its finances and, I believe, it revealed that because of the need to cut its budgets, it was going to try to remove downwards the costs of an inspection team when they come up for re-tender. Frankly, you get what you pay for.

  CHAIRMAN: Point well taken. You realise that we are doing the training of teachers just started, so you've got to be back pretty damn quickly on the training of teachers. I hope you're going to say more about the training of teachers than you're saying about the training of inspectors. I've been giving Annette a break because she's not too well today. She has a lot of questions.

  Q24  ANNETTE BROOKE: I have one more question. This comes back to something the Chief Inspector said I had got all wrong, so perhaps I can ask the same question of you. Do Ofsted teams frequently come with almost a pre-determination of the outcome of their reports, in that they have collected the statistical data? Isn't that what the schools are going to be judged on primarily?

  CHAIRMAN: Let's start with Mick. You can refer back to the last question. You were frustrated about not being able to answer.

  MICK BROOKES: Thank you. That was one point I was going to make. The complaints that we get in are twofold. There are fewer complaints about the behaviour of the inspector; the complaint that we get most frequently is that the school's context was ignored. The external data are used to judge the school, and whatever else is going on in the school is ignored. Some of that is about the length of inspection, but some of it again is about the attitude of the inspector. With some, you feel as though the inspection report has been written before they get anywhere near the school. That is really frustrating. There are schools that are really struggling to bring education to those areas where it has not been deemed to be a great thing to have, but they have plenty of other things going on as well as simply standards. It is a standards-driven inspection process, but this is not a simple process. It involves looking at the school—for instance, its work in the community, creativity and arts. All those things make up a good school, not just standards. The standards-driven process needs to change.

  JOHN BANGS: May I pick up two issues. First, the training issue. If you have the responsibility for evaluating a school, you should have the responsibility for being based in that school and working with teachers, having given that advice. That is part of the training. The trouble with Ofsted inspectors is that they parachute in and disappear again. That model did, in my experience, work very well in the Inner London Education Authority. Inspectors based in the schools team targeted schools that were in trouble and worked with them internally. They gave advice, came in and followed through. That would be good practice and good training.

  Q25  CHAIRMAN: For how long?

  JOHN BANGS: Six months to a year, Chair. Martin will remember it very well, since he and I worked together in ILEA. On the issue of the data, they inform everything. As Mick said, they prejudge the judgments that are made. That is a real and crying shame. The current Permanent Secretary at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, David Bell, was the first chief education officer to pick up and run with genuine school self-evaluation. After we had published Schools Speak for Themselves, which was the initial model document on self-evaluation back in 1995, he got all the teachers together in Newcastle and held a conference about how we can be courageous and ask pupils, parents and members of the community about the strength and weaknesses of schools. What we have now is a data-drive, high-stakes system. In fact, we have done continuous studies on where self-evaluation should have gone. What suffered is a portrait and a picture of the school climate, for example—teachers feeling confident, parents feeling confident and children feeling confident enough to contribute to the debate on school climate and where the pinch points are in terms of anxieties and bullying. Everything is data-driven down on the results, and the comparisons are made on a fairly arid form. The self-evaluation model has been warped by its high stakes nature. I absolutely agree with Mick on that.

  Q26  PAUL HOLMES: I well remember when I was a teacher the long preparation time before an Ofsted inspection. Teachers and heads were not happy with that. Ofsted then moved to short notice for inspections, and teachers and heads were not happy with that. I then remember Ofsted saying that it wanted to move to no notice for inspections, and teachers and heads were not happy with that. What do we do about the length of notice?

  CHAIRMAN: You are all keen on that, but Mick was first on the buzzer.

  MICK BROOKES: The unannounced inspections are a nonsense. As for going out to say to parents, "Do you want them?", parents might say conceptually, "Yes, we do," because any school should be able to be inspected at any time. But the operational aspects of that get in the way, particularly with heads of small schools who have a class to teach, so the inspection would be about the quality of the supply teacher. I do not think that the operational aspects or the logistics of the measure have been properly thought through. It is a bit like going to see your doctor and seeing how well you are, but my preferred view would be that the next inspection is organised by the team that does the current inspection, so a school that is doing well would be told that it does not need to be seen for whatever length of time, while a school that is experiencing difficulties is told that it had better be seen a bit sooner. That would be a highly professional way of going on. The concept of unannounced inspections, apart from being operationally difficult, could be called "catch you out" inspections, but I do not think that that is possible. If an inspection looks at, for instance, the quality of children's work, even if you had six months, the current two days or the time that there was to do that, you will not improve the quality of the work, certainly over two days, on a short or long-term basis. Likewise, as for behaviour, it is my view that we cannot suddenly get children to behave well in two days. In fact, the ones who will behave badly will be even more likely to behave badly when an audience is there. I do not think you can change the fundamental basis of a school, but you can drive towards your desired outcomes for your next inspection. I think that should be a place of partnership—for the school to say, "Look, we've got this work to do before the next inspection, and we want to work on that with our school improvement partner."

  KEITH BARTLEY: It is important to distinguish between purposes and inspection. If one of the primary functions of inspection is to assist with improving practice and to help a school develop, unannounced inspections are unlikely to serve that purpose well, because it is about a degree of engagement prior to and subsequent to the inspection itself. However, if the purpose of the inspection is to do with protecting children, there is a strong case to be made for unannounced inspections, so we have to distinguish clearly between the purposes.

  Q27  PAUL HOLMES: When you say protecting children, are you talking about children's residential schools?

  KEITH BARTLEY: Not necessarily. For example, in early years or child care settings, at the moment, if a complaint is made, Ofsted has the power, and exercises it, to make unannounced visits. I would hate the Committee to take away an assumption that unannounced inspections, per se, were being rejected, because it is about the purpose.

  Q28  PAUL HOLMES: So, you would distinguish between one area of Ofsted inspections and mainstream school inspections?


  CHAIRMAN: Are all three of you going to answer? Let us start with Dr Dunford.

  DR DUNFORD: I have only one sentence to say really. If Ofsted inspection is part of a quality assurance process, then no-notice inspections do not have a place. If it is simply about catching people out, then that is what you do. I support what has been said about serious child protection issues, for which they may well have to go in unannounced, but not for school improvement purposes.

  Q29  CHAIRMAN: John, do you think it is worrying that Ofsted does both types of inspection?


  Q30  CHAIRMAN: I asked the Chief Inspector about that when she gave evidence on I guess what could be described as whole the dreadful Baby P tragedy. I asked whether one of the problems was that an inspection system that was fitted for one system was being applied to another. Do you think there is a problem with that, and that what is appropriate in one sector is deeply inappropriate in another?

  DR DUNFORD: I think you are right, Chairman. It may well be that there are different styles of inspection for different purposes, and Ofsted has clearly had a very big learning curve, with the whole children's services inspection issues and safeguarding issues of the last 18 months or so, since it took on responsibility for all those things. It is perfectly possible that the right kind of inspection for that may be quite different to the right kind of inspection for school improvement.

  JOHN BANGS: If inspection is supposed to be an iterative process, as they say in fashionable parlance, and it should be, since it should be part of a conversation and dialogue about improvement—if the inspector says, "I want to test you on this one," and you say, "Well, okay, I want to test you on your premises," and then there is a conversation about it—then Martin's model is nearer. I am not arguing for a local inspection, but for a more localised approach to a national framework. We have argued that there should be teams that are more locally based, not necessarily inspecting their own authority's schools, but inspecting other authority's schools, within a national framework for quality assurance of those evaluators. On the question about the two to five days, you will see a summary of our latest survey in our submission, and the one thing that members felt was fair about the current inspection model and unfair about the future model was the two to five days. Although they did not like the high-stakes nature of inspections, they thought that two to five days was about as good as it got in terms of balance, and they cannot understand why the Chief Inspector is now dallying with the idea. All that we can get, or that I can get from conversations—I have to try to find these mythical parents who are pressing the Chief Inspector and the Government very hard for no-notice inspections—is that it is part of the political agenda which says, "We are now the Government that listens to parents." I do not see any evidence of that, but it is part of a political move. It is fair to say that we expect that evidence to be gathered in those two to five days. There may be pressure, but that is a short amount of time and there is not the same pre-inspection tension.

  Q31  PAUL HOLMES: Can I go back to how you complain about Ofsted, which you have talked about. John Bangs mentioned the hotline that has been established but is not used enough. Over the years, I have been contacted by teachers, head teachers and deputy head teachers from around the country who have grievances because they feel that their career has been ended by an Ofsted inspection. They feel that they have no redress as an individual, as opposed to that which a school has as an institution. Is that so? What can we do about it?

  JOHN BANGS: The difficulty comes with small departments in schools or with small schools because it is possible to identify individuals. That is the nature of the high-stakes inspection. You can be fingered quite unfairly in a report as an individual rather than the contribution that you make to the institution. Thank goodness Ofsted got rid of the little notes that inspectors gave to the head teacher about the performance of the individual. The only way to get away from the identification of individuals is through a different form of inspection using the self-evaluative model, under which inspectors challenge the school on its self-evaluation report on a more conversational or iterative basis. I do not think that you will be able to get away from the high-stakes model of identifying individuals in small schools because of the nature of the model.

  Q32  CHAIRMAN: So you do not think that it is part of any inspection to point out that a teacher is struggling in their role?

  JOHN BANGS: I do not think that there is a role in the current inspection system or any future inspection system to do that. It is important to have an effective performance management system. Christine raised this earlier and I would like to take up what she said. I am involved in international work with teacher organisations in other countries. Many teacher organisations do not understand the term "assessment", but do understand the term "evaluation". They often remark that the evaluations of the pupil, the teacher, the school and the system are muddled up in this country. As my colleagues have said, you have to be clear about what you want evaluation for. You need a system to evaluate the progress of individual pupils and a system of evaluation that leads to professional development for teachers, such as a performance management system. The different purposes must not be mixed up.

  Q33  CHAIRMAN: Should we not have got that clear early on? One criticism of the GTC is that it does not clear enough poor teachers out of the profession compared with systems in other countries, which seem to be able to identify weak teachers and persuade them by whatever means that it is not the right occupation for them. The GTC hardly ever relieves the profession of very many teachers at all.

  KEITH BARTLEY: My colleagues are involved in research into what incentives and disincentives there are in the current system for referring or not referring teachers to capability procedures. Your question misses one point that distinguishes the system in England: each year we set out to train a much larger number of teachers than those who choose to go into the classroom and stay there. There is a sense in which our training gives trainees the opportunity to consider whether this is the right job for them. I am convinced that a number decide during the training that it is not. Other selection and deselection processes are at work beyond teachers being referred to us through competency procedures. I want to make it clear that my powers do not extend to going out and finding them. We are actually at the point at which a referral has to be made to us by an employer.

  CHAIRMAN: I do not want you to get upset. That was by way of making sure you were still awake. I promise you that we will come back to that.

  DR DUNFORD: A quick point. You cannot create a system which relies on Ofsted to identify weak teachers. They only come every three, four or five years, or whatever.

  CHAIRMAN: John, I merely threw that in, honestly, to wake you up a little bit.

  DR DUNFORD: To wake me up? I am as alert as I have been for several days.

  Q34  MR TIMPSON: One of the common threads that seems to be coming through from pretty much all of you is that the self-evaluation framework that we have at the moment is not playing the part that it should be playing in the process of school accountability. So, bringing together all the different threads that you have been talking about on self-evaluation, can you say what role you believe it should be playing in school accountability and the inspection process?

  MICK BROOKES: A major role and one that operates—I think we opened up with this—within the parameters of trust, where the people doing the self-evaluation are trusted to make those judgments. Tim Brighouse was talking at the ASCL conference the other day about high trust and low accountability. I do not think that that is right, actually. We want a system that operates in high trust, but the high accountability has to come from the schools themselves. Making sure that the rigour is there and ensuring that they are performing in the way that is correct for the children in those contexts comes from the school itself. Again, you have to move away from a system in which you are guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent. It has to be done under systems that are also accredited. I should like to get on to the role of the school improvement partner, which is not fit for purpose any more. Certainly, assisting the leadership of the school in that assessment is important, particularly when there may only be two or three other people in that school. So clustering arrangements must be considered, as must ensuring, for instance, that you have a chartered assessor available to make sure that children's work is being assessed at the right levels. Where there are difficulties with teacher performance in the classroom, there must be support for heads—not only the teachers in the classroom—who have to tackle those difficult problems.

  MARTIN JOHNSON: Chair, your last remarks showed up very much how the drive for school improvement is often conflated with the drive for school accountability. Those things need to be separated. Notwithstanding, as has already been said this afternoon, the addition to Ofsted's statutory remit of a duty to work on improvement, that is still not how it works in practice—and neither can it. The way to embed school improvement in our schools is not through accountability mechanisms, but through growing the culture of a school as a learning institution and a reflective one. Two things that have been mentioned recently are key to that. One is a form of self-evaluation owned by the whole staff that is not a bureaucratic exercise conducted for a high-stakes external observer—I say that again because it is so important—but that is integral to whole-school staff reflection on itself, coupled with performance management, which was recently introduced into the discussion. Regrettably, too few of our schools still have a performance management process that is embedded into their everyday work. I am a great sponsor of performance management, not least because I spent many happy hours helping to develop the new arrangements with colleagues here. ATL believes strongly in performance management as a tool to improve teacher effectiveness and, therefore, pupil outcomes, but you might say that performance management should be inspected, and I am not clear that it is.

  Q35  CHAIRMAN: Martin, you just said that we have not got much left, but you now want to inspect it. Is that not making you rather vulnerable?

  MARTIN JOHNSON: What I am saying is that if what we are all about is better teaching and learning, accountability is not as important as some of the other things.

  DR DUNFORD: In 2004, we had from the Minister for School Standards a properly thought out new relationship with schools, which had self-evaluation at the centre, driven by the same sort of data that would drive the work of a school improvement partner. I disagree with Mick that that is not fit for purpose, because the role of supporting and challenging heads is fit for purpose, but the problem is that it has become far too top-down, because heads are told what to do and given lots of targets and so on. There is school self-evaluation, a school improvement partner and Ofsted. That is a strong three-legged stool of school accountability. The school self-evaluation feeds into the Ofsted process through the self-evaluation form—the so-called SEF. That works well, and I hope that the relationship will become even stronger. Between the Ofsted visits, it is the job of the school improvement partner to monitor the progress of the self-evaluation in supporting and challenging the head. That is working well, and I think the huge strides forward that schools have made in the past five years on self-evaluation, encouraged greatly by the people sitting at this table, particularly the NUT, which has always been strong on school self-evaluation, have been an important driver for school improvement.

  Q36  CHAIRMAN: You do not have to say anything now, do you John?

  JOHN BANGS: I feel I ought to—there is a brand here.

  There are two models of school improvement. One is the delivery model, which characterises "deliverology", which we are all aware of, and one is creating the conditions for change. The model that we have promoted since the mid 1990s—I remember sitting with Dr Dunford at the annual lecture by the previous Chief Inspector when he lambasted us for our commitment to self-evaluation—is the one about creating the conditions for change. My problem with the current self-evaluation form and the inspector's model is that, actually, it is a cheap substitute for inspectors coming in themselves and spending longer. We once had a fascinating conversation with the former Chief Inspector, who had just become the Permanent Secretary, about what came first—the chicken or the egg—in terms of whether self-evaluation was a convenient way of coping with the fact that Ofsted's budget had been cut, or whether it was it a glint in the eye prior to the budget cut. We did not get a satisfactory answer. The issue is how to get to the guts of what the school community values and knows is working, and then, in terms of the external check on self-evaluation, how you can test that out so that you prove that you know that it is working. Currently, we do not have a system that gets to the guts of the effectiveness of the school overall. It is very results dominated and tick-list based. I say that because I go back to a wonderful thing that a bunch of year 2 and 3 youngsters said about what they thought a good teacher ought to be. This goes back to our original work in the '90s, and I do not have any information that contradicts this. They were clear about what good teachers are: "They are very clever, they do not shout, they help you every day, they are not bossy, they have faith in you, they are funny, they are patient, they are good at their work, they tell you clearly what to do, they help you with your mistakes, they mark your work, they help you to read, they help you with spelling, and they have courage."

  CHAIRMAN: That is Paul Holmes!

  JOHN BANGS: It is a lovely description. Why should you not be interrogating a school on whether or not those attitudes are there? Teachers are committed to that, pupils are committed to that and parents are committed to that, but that voice does not appear in the current self-evaluation model. Why? It is because it is skewed into an incredibly data-based, comparative approach instead of how it describes the nature of the school in the community. Finally, on SIPs, I agree with Mick. I have to say, John, that this is one area in which I disagree with you. Conceptually, the school improvement partner is flawed. You are supposed to have a critical friend. You cannot have a critical friend if that critical friend keeps on going back to the local authority to snitch on you. I have to say that that is not my definition of a critical friend.

   MICK BROOKES: Can I just pick that up. We have just passed notes, John. There is a big difference here between the school improvement partners in the secondary sector and the school improvement partners across sectors, particularly in the primary sector. In the secondary sector, it is peer support, by and large, because SIPs usually come from the education or school leadership community. In the primary sector, it is not like that. It has recycled some local authority inspectors who have taken it up. There may be a variation in quality there. The person should be a management and leadership supporter rather than someone who has done the things that John has just said.

  CHAIRMAN: Edward, you have got them sparkling here.

  Q37  MR TIMPSON: Maybe I should just keep quiet. Let me touch again on SEF forms. I went to a school in my constituency recently and spoke to the head teacher. She was very concerned with the form on two fronts. First, it was far too rigid and did not offer the opportunity to express what her school was about, particularly as it was needing to improve from its previous inspection. Secondly, the strengths and the weaknesses of the school, which she readily accepted, were somehow lost in the process, both in terms of filling in the form and of looking at improvement within the school. How would you go about sharpening that tool, or should we get rid of it all together and start again on where we go with the self-evaluation model?

  MICK BROOKES: Self-evaluation—and written self-evaluation—is at the heart of self-improvement. I was very pleased when Christine Gilbert came to the Social Partnership and reminded us that the SEF is not a statutory instrument. One of the things that we are saying to people is that your SEF is not something that you write for inspectors, but something that you write for your school, and it informs your school improvement programme. Therefore, it has to be a tool that picks up the very things that you are talking about. If the rigid framework and the online version of that does not fit, we are saying very clearly to our members, "You need to take ownership of this document, and it needs to say those things that you want to say about your school provided that it acknowledges that where there are areas of weakness, you will address them in your plan."

  KEITH BARTLEY: I was going to offer some principles around what excessive accountability might look like if it has been commissioned, which helps to get at what my good practice in the SEF will be. We were given four things to think about. One was that excessive accountability imposes high demands on office holders under conditions of limited time and energy. Actually, I think that you get plenty of time and opportunity to revisit a SEF. Again, excessive accountability contains mutually contradictory evaluation criteria, and some of the restrictiveness around the SEF starts to go towards that territory. It contains performance standards that extend beyond established good practice and that invite subversive behaviour and goal displacement. It is that latter area in which the restrictive nature of the SEF takes schools towards unintended conclusions or an inability to set out their own store in the language that they would use.

  Q38  MR TIMPSON: Earlier, you touched on having a commercial operation coming in and doing the self-assessment process. I have two questions about that. How much does it cost a school to do that, and is it deemed to have more credibility by going down that route?

  DR DUNFORD: The cost depends on the size of the school. We can give you the figures; I do not have them in my head, but the cost is substantial—a few thousand pounds in a secondary school. But I think that the schools like it because somebody else is processing all the forms—you are not having to go through them—and because you get a lot more information out of it as the stuff is analysed against the performance of other schools in similar surveys. So, by using the commercial companies, you are getting more information with less work on your part, while still having a say in the design of the questionnaire.

  JOHN BANGS: I want to upend that a bit. All our experience from our professional development programme is that teachers take to learning how to do research like a duck to water. We work closely with Cambridge University on a project called "Learning Circles". Teachers put up their own research projects and they are tested and evaluated by the Cambridge tutor to see whether they stand up in research terms. The teachers then produce their 60-point contribution to their masters with the research results at the end. I do not have a problem with anyone outside conducting it, so long as you are in charge of the research. There is a strong argument, as part of self-evaluation, for teachers themselves—as part of the teaching and learning process—not to have additional research bolted on, which you have to do to be able to say, "These results are right because this is an entirely independent commercial company," and to guard against accusations that you are somehow bending the research because you are doing it. It says something about the system that you feel you have to do that. We have done this work over years and I am in favour of self-evaluation that is about teachers being confident in using their own evaluative and research models that are rigorous and accurate and also involve trust in the system, about knowing that those results will be treated in a developmental way, and about looking at how we can build on what we have found out, rather than viewing things in a punitive way: x, y and z are failing.

  CHAIRMAN: Edward, do you have one more quick question or are you done?

  MR TIMPSON: I am done.

  Q39  CHAIRMAN: We have two sections to cover quickly. The first, on school management, is being led by David—Andrew and David will do these together. First, I have a quick question. Does anybody else know where self-assessment is so heavily leant on? Is there self-assessment in police forces and the health service? Is it contagious?

  DR DUNFORD: I hope that it is, because it is the profession acting as professionals to self-evaluate. If that evaluation can be something that is not just done by the head teacher to the staff, but can go down—as John Bangs says—into the root of people's work in the classroom so that you are constantly evaluating what you do yourself, in addition to the institution constantly evaluating what it does, you have real quality assurance.

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